Friday, December 14, 2007

A blog posting that I should have written

Everyday I have my ritual of checking my email and reading my favorite blogs. Most of the time the blogs I read make me laugh and as I laugh I always hope that I can make my reader laugh, too. My blog friends have posed for photo shoots looking like Brittany Speers, admitted to their life long obsession with park rangers, made videos exploring their imaginary relationship with John Cusak, and other things that you'd just have to read to believe. Along with the laughter I have shared other emotions as well. My blog friends have had panic attacks before they get married, they have miscarriages, their children get sick (and I'm talking about everything from cutting molars to being mauled by dogs), and they have family members pass away. I can usually relate on some level to every story I read but nothing has hit home the way the following story did:

Because I couldn't say it on the phone (click on that...it's a link. I have no idea why it isn't showing up darker...)

I would ask that you read the post and read the comments, too. I have had every one of the conversations mentioned. Most of them...more than once.

This was written by Heather B. Armstrong who is otherwise known by her blog name of "Dooce". She took the words right out of my mouth.

I have never been afraid to admit that I take anti-depressant medication. The chemicals in my brain are out of whack and no amount of wishing, hoping, ignoring, or therapy will put them in whack any more than doing any of those things will make my cholesterol levels fall in to the appropriate level.

I have suffered from depression for most of my life and I didn't even realize it until it was gone. In the mid 80's I hit an all time low and I sought counseling. Even that attempt at helping myself was questioned by my loved ones. No matter how much I tried to describe the inner pain, the weight of the darkness in my head...no one seemed to get it. As a little girl I was a cry baby. If you looked at me sideways I would cry. I was told that I didn't get good sleep. I didn't get enough sleep. I was just bitchy. I was mean. As I got older I was told that I was ill because I didn't eat meat. The people in my life accepted me as a chronic moody crab, apple, with dark circles around her eyes, who would throw huge fits of rage when she got angry. How come no one saw how hard it was to live like that?

Everyone who knew my dad knows that he was a complete and total alcoholic. When he was sober, and we were out in public, he would often have "moments". With no warning he would just disappear from the hoopla. He very rarely came to see me or Tori perform in any of our multitude of activities because that would involve being in a crowded room full of people. When he did show up, he'd stand off in a corner, observe the performance and then head outside as soon as our act was finished. As an adult I now know that this was probably claustrophobia or panic attacks. Why didn't anyone recognize this or realize that part of his alcoholism was self medication?

I actually had to be talked in to taking antidepressants. I feared that I was going to be a drooling oddball who ran around blowing bubbles while chasing butterflies. It was the best surprise of my life to find that not only did I not turn in to a drooling butterfly wrangler....I actually felt good. I felt lighter. I felt happy. And I mean happy from the core of my very being. I felt like I could breath for the first time in my life. "Oh....so THIS is what it's like to feel normal!" I was able to get out of bed in the morning and not want to kill anyone who tried to talk to me. Drivers could cut me off and I didn't want to ram my car in to theirs. People could look at me sideways and I didn't even notice.

Anti-depressants saved my life. I hope if any of you out there in blogland are on the fence about this subject...you will read my post and Dooce's post and do what you think is right.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Margaret said...

been on and off them quite a few times.

Beautiful story - both yours and hers.

5:49 PM  
Blogger MinaG said...

Thanks so much for your honesty Tami. I was on antidepressants for a couple of years following the birth of my first child, it was the best thing for me, I wouldn't have made it without the meds. There should be no shame in it.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

The ArchBomb is blown away tonight.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Tami W. said...

Margaret:
Thank you. I think Dooce's story was more thought out and mine was a knee jerk reaction...but both of us had the same sentiment.

Mina:
Honesty usually gets me in to more trouble...so I'm glad you appreciate it. I agree with you...there should be NO shame in taking care of yourself.

KathyA:
Blown away?

8:22 AM  

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